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GALESBURG, Illinois – The Knox College women’s and men’s soccer programs placed a combined four players on the All-North Region Teams as selected by
the United Soccer Coaches.
The women won the “double” this past Fall with their Midwest Conference regular season and tournament championships for the second straight year. The feat was good enough for their second straight appearance in the national NCAA tournament.
Leading the charge for the women was Yvette Rodriguez (Rancho Cucamonga, CA/Rancho Cucamonga) who was named Second Team All-North Region. Rodriguez was a First Team All-North Region selection last fall and was a First Team All-MWC pick this season for the second time in her career. The junior scored three goals and had eight assists for the Fire.
Sierra Daniger (Colorado Springs, CO/Air Academy) earned Third Team All-North Region and was dominant in goal for Knox this fall, stopping 89.4 percent of shots and produced a goals against average of just 0.35. The junior is also a two-time First Team All-MWC selection after being named Second Team All-North Region last fall.
“We’re all happy for Yvie and Sierra for this well-earned recognition. The season was a team effort, but Yvie and Sierra are no doubt some of the best in the region at their respective positions. This shows the level of student-athlete we have at Knox and we are growing stronger,” said head women’s soccer coach Chris Haught-Thompson.
The men’s team won their first Midwest Conference championship in three seasons. They also set a modern conference record of conceding only one goal in nine regular season conference games. They paired that with another conference record of 12 shutouts overall on the season.
Leading the defense at center back was senior Phelipe Graske (Geneva, IL/Geneva) who ends his stellar career with his fellow seniors having bookended Midwest Conference championships. Graske earned his second First Team All-North Region selection. He’s also the two-time Midwest Conference Defender of the Year and earned his second First Team All-MWC selection. He was Second Team All-MWC as a sophomore.
Junior Rocky Plaza (Manila, Philippines/PAREF Southridge School) was the Midwest Conference’s top midfielder for the second year running. Plaza earned Second Team All-North Region honors. He was also selected as two-time First Team All-MWC.
“Phil and Rocky are class and we’re all proud of their efforts on the field. Phil knows I’m prouder of the job offer from a world-renowned company in New York he earned after busting his butt at an internship this past summer,” said head men’s coach Tyler Sheikh. “Rocky will be studying in London for winter and spring terms in the same program Phil did as a junior so these two are great examples of our expectations for Knox players. We’ll continue our winning ways despite missing a great senior class.”